Kyle Clifford raising his own questions during Kings Camp

Last weekend, Kyle Clifford intimated that he wasn’t letting himself believe he had earned on spot on this year’s LA Kings team.

Given his humble and quiet nature, it wasn’t surprising that the 20-year old forward was approaching training camp with anything other than his full passion for the game.

One thing that has changed for him in his second year though are the people around him in the locker room. Most notably, there’s somebody missing from the stall next to him.

Did it take coming to camp and not seeing Wayne Simmonds sitting there for the full realization of the trade to hit home?

“Yeah, it’s different,” Clifford said. “Wayne was such a character guy and a great guy who helped me out a lot last year. He kind of took me under his wing. So, he’s going to be missed.”

Perhaps one of the things Simmonds cautioned him about was the tendency some players have to go through a ‘sophomore slump’ their second season.

“You don’t want to take a step backward,” explained Clifford. “My main goal is to always be moving forward. I take each day one day at a time though. If I do that and listen to the coaches and the veteran leadership in here, I’ll keep improving my game. But, I haven’t set any goals for number of points or anything like that. Well, win all my fights – but, that’s a given every year!”

Another given for Clifford this year will be his equipment. Over the summer, he signed an endorsement deal with Bauer.

“I grew up using Bauer most of my life. So, sticking with one equipment person just makes things a little easier.” As he put it, “I’m wearing everything Bauer, head to toe Bauer.”

New equipment, a few new teammates – somethings haven’t changed though.

“It’s still camp. So, it’s still tough and it’s still grueling,” said Clifford. “After coming in and playing last year, now I know what to expect though. With the team we have now it just makes this year that much more exciting too.”

With that excitement, some of the other Kings have also been talking about an increase in pressure the last few days as well.

“I guess you could say that,” remarked Clifford. “But, pressure is a good thing. I embrace pressure. I think with the type of character team we have here, they will too.”

And the competition for a spot on the third or fourth line?

“It’s a good thing! Healthy competition only makes you better, right?”

Right.

The Mayor
www.twitter.com/MayorNHL 
www.facebook.com/MayorsManor

Clifford photo appears courtesy of CIKIRI

RELATED ARTICLES:

Kyle Clifford is not convined he has a spot on the LA Kings this season

Kyle Clifford explains his nickname

Cruising the mall with Simmonds and Doughty

Coach Murray evaluates the Kings rookies – including Bernier, Clifford, Martinez

Kings coach already juggling the lines for this season

Kings Training Camp 2011:  Matt Greene gets serious

Recent Articles

NHL Radio Replay: Hoven Reacts to Kings Hiring Stevens and Future Plans

Follow @mayorNHL
//
Enjoy a free replay of John Hoven on NHL Network Radio, where he joined host Jim ‘Boomer’ Gordon to discuss everything that went down at the LA Kings press conference for new head coach John Stevens. They break down what was learned and what’s next with the team, both on and off the […]

Rob Blake on How and Why John Stevens Was Promoted

Following today’s LA Kings press conference to announce John Stevens as the team’s new head coach, General Manager Rob Blake shared a plethora of additional insight into how and why the promotion occurred:
Blake on finding a head coach right away:
“Well, I think I’ve experienced it first hand, which goes a long way. Also, the experience […]

NHL Radio Replay: Hoven on Stevens Hire, Kings Assistant Coach Search

Follow @mayorNHL
//
Enjoy a free replay of John Hoven on NHL Network Radio, where he joined host Jonathan Davis on the Two Man Advantage to discuss all the latest happenings surrounding the Los Angeles Kings – including: John Stevens being named the new head coach, who the team is targeting for vacant assistant coach openings, […]

Major News Items

LA Kings 2017 Mid-Season Prospect Rankings: Top Two Players Revealed

The wait is over; it's time to reveal the top two players on our 2017 Mid-Season Prospect Rankings. Which player has earned the coveted No. 1 spot? As we finish off this multi-part series, we'll begin with a thank you … [Read More...]

More Prospect News

Comments